We bought a new mattress for our bed. While some people put their money under the mattress, we decided to put it into the mattress. After buying the mattress, there was no money to tuck in anywhere.

During the process of mattress hunting, we found that there are actually people called “sleep specialists” who work in some furniture stores. I didn’t know this until a perky little girl approached us about her knowledge of what we would need. I wonder if she has a “bed analyst/body type” diploma hanging on her office wall. She sounded like she knew what she was doing as she took a health and fitness survey of us and about two hours later, looked at us with concern in her moist eyes and recommended a firm mattress with a soft top. It sounded sort of passive-aggressive to me.

“The mattress I’m recommending has ‘memory foam’!” She said this like we should be impressed and happy that she was willing to connect us to such luxury.

“Forty years ago, the mattress might have had something to remember. Now, not so much,” I said resignedly.

She looked at me confused or maybe like perhaps I had a pillow-top for brains.

We had to try several sample mattresses, of course. It is a big investment and a big decision. After all, this will probably be the mattress we will die on. You want to get it just right.

“Here. Try this mattress,” Miss ‘I can sleep for 10 hours and not have to get up to go to the bathroom’ said to us.

We struggled to lift our knees high enough to crawl onto the mattress, pinching the mattress cover to give ourselves some leverage. We fought against our vertigo and the crick in our necks to settle onto our backs on the sample mattress and found ourselves staring into blinding ceiling lights, similar, I suspect to those used to get the truth out of suspected criminals.

“What do you think?” I called across the wide expanse to my spouse. “Will this work for you and all the new hardware placed in your back?”

He was so far away I had trouble hearing his response. We’ve never had a king-sized bed before. The expanse was unexpected. The sleep expert must have heard. She was standing at the end and towards the middle of the king size mattress, working as an interpreter between us and shielding the unsuspecting public who might come across us as they searched for their own sleep nirvana. No use scaring them with blobs of pooling talking flesh.

We tried a few more samples. In one of them, I had to have help to get out. It didn’t allow for any movement. It was like falling into a vat of marshmallow crème. I suspected a quicksand box spring.

On another bed, we laid down and there was no give. It was a stone slab not dissimilar, I suppose, to a table in the morgue.

Another bed supposedly gave a gentle massage with the push of a button. When we tried it, the movement was a slow undulation that made the hairs on my neck stand on end. It was either a creepy massage or there were bedbugs.

By the seventh bed, we both dozed off a little. It had been like a mountain climbing expedition and we were tired of gripping and maneuvering ourselves around. It must have been while we were sleeping that she slipped a pen into our hands and we found we had signed a “zero percent interest for six years” contract.

“Now, let’s look at headboards for your bed,” the sleep specialist advised.

“No thanks,” we said, thinking we had spent as much as we could for now.

“Pillows?” she said (was that pleading in her voice?) “You will need king-sized pillows.”

“Nah. We are sort of crib-sized people, so the bed will be more than enough.”

“How about a mattress cover?” she pushed a little more, but we had already made it to the door.

We’d had enough fun for one day.